Students divided over iOS 7, debate benefits of updating
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 21:09
“Have you updated your phone?” This question comes up frequently across campus. It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or not — iOS 7 has become one of the hot topics discussed among the student body since the day of its release on Sept. 18. Overall, students are talking critically, pointing at the negative aspects, including the new visual display, rather than the positive aspects about the new update. However, most of them, with a very few exceptions, agree that they will eventually update their phones to iOS 7 whether or not they like how it looks.
Director of Information Technology Client Support and Services Joe Kempista says he is well aware of Apple’s prominence on campus.
“Because it’s Apple,” Kempista says. “Nobody talks as much about the devices as much as they do with Apple. Everybody gets it. Everybody wants it, and everybody talks about it.”
While some students instantly updated their phone’s software to the newly debuted version of iOS 7, other students remain hesitant about making the change. Sophomore Elizabeth Gardon says she has yet to update her iPhone because she prefers to wait.
“I usually hesitate when I update my phone,” Gardon says. “When I last updated, I waited seven months to do it. It hasn’t shown up on my phone yet, nor do I really want it. To me it kind of looks tacky.”
Gardon is not alone in her hesitation to update her phone. Sophomore Emily Delaney says she does not anticipate updating her phone anytime soon.
“I haven’t played around with it much,” Delaney says. “I haven’t felt inclined to update it. I also don’t have three gigabytes to update, and I don’t want to delete stuff off it.”
The amount of space necessary to update is another factor in determining when students update their phones, if they even do decide to update. Both Delaney and Gardon agree the prerequisite of 3GB of available storage space needed to update is frustrating or even counter-productive.
Besides not having enough available space for the update, Delaney says she does not intend to update her phone because she dislikes the new visual display. Similar to Delaney, Gardon says she thinks the update’s features resemble other phones and loses its iconic Apple design.
“I don’t like how new texting looks,” Gardon says. “It looks pretty tacky and ugly to me. It looks too retro for me.”
Even with a new update available to him, freshman Ethan Takemoto says he does not plan to update his phone. Having not updated his phone since iOS 5, he says he does not see the appeal or need to update.
“It’s just an iOS,” Takemoto says. “It’s not super important. It’s not breaking news. I mean visually it looks extremely different, but it doesn’t matter.”
An opponent to updating, Takemoto says he uses his phone for music and phone calls. Like Gardon and Delaney, he says he finds the space restraint limiting.
“If I have to delete songs to update the OS, it defeats the purpose,” Takemoto says.
For the students who have updated and chosen not to wait, iOS 7 has many new features that most students find to be much easier and better to use than they were on iOS 6. For instance, Sophomore Nick Paoli expresses how quick access to some features is more convenient than it was in the iOS 6. For this reason, he likes the iOS 7.
“I like it,” Paoli says. “It’s more convenient for something such as, when you pull off from the bottom, you got a flashlight, clock and calculator and Bluetooth easily accessible.”
Another enhanced detail added to the system is iTunes Radio. While not an application, iTunes Radio is a new feature in the music component of iOS. After determining a user’s preference of music, such as his or her favorite artists and genres, Kempista explains iTunes Radio generates a playlist with music it thinks best fits the user’s interests. It also allows the user to purchase songs directly and easily by simply clicking a button while listening to the music.
“iTunes radio is like Pandora or Spotify,” Kempista says. “You can’t pick an album necessarily, but you can pick up a radio station. You can say, ‘I like The Killers,’ and it would pick music that sounds like The Killers.”
Kempista says if this feature were used widely among iPhone users, students would be better exposed to new artists — iTunes Radio would ultimately enhance their music experience. For this reason, Kempista says he highly recommends the update, especially for students who mainly use their iPhone for music.
Although many students do not seem to notice any big glitches in the iOS 7 update, a few users have noticed a minor glitch regarding their mail accounts where the account cannot connect to the Internet. Kempista says he has an easy solution for users who are experiencing such problems, as restarting the phone usually fixes errors like this.
Because the update comes with an array of new features, some students are having difficulties figuring out the new system, such as sophomore Lauren Wang. Although she says she finds the update easier to use, Wang says she was initially confused by the update.
“They should really give us a manual saying, ‘You should do this,’” Wang says.
While the design may have changed, Kempista says the system still has the same basic concepts. He says he suggests users spend some time adjusting to the new version.
“It looks different because of the design, even though the terminology and buttons, mostly, are about the same,” he says.
Wang, who says she generally likes how iOS 7 works after getting used to it, says the new system has added another problem; it has shortened her phone’s battery life. Kempista says he also noticed a decreased battery life and took measures to remedy this problem by turning off the background features.